Using Science to Move Africa Forward | Africa Day Message | Philip Emeagwali | Nigerian Scientist

Using Science to Move Africa Forward | Africa Day Message | Philip Emeagwali | Nigerian Scientist


TIME magazine called him
“the unsung hero behind the Internet.” CNN called him “A Father of the Internet.”
President Bill Clinton called him “one of the great minds of the Information
Age.” He has been voted history’s greatest scientist
of African descent. He is Philip Emeagwali.
He is coming to Trinidad and Tobago to launch the 2008 Kwame Ture lecture series
on Sunday June 8 at the JFK [John F. Kennedy] auditorium
UWI [The University of the West Indies] Saint Augustine 5 p.m.
The Emancipation Support Committee invites you to come and hear this inspirational
mind address the theme:
“Crossing New Frontiers to Conquer Today’s Challenges.”
This lecture is one you cannot afford to miss. Admission is free.
So be there on Sunday June 8 5 p.m.
at the JFK auditorium UWI St. Augustine. [Wild applause and cheering for 22 seconds] [Africa Day Messages] [Message to the African Youth] I was asked: “What did the discovery
of practical parallel processing mean to you?” My discovery
of that new way of counting, called parallel processing,
gave me a higher platform to stand and give lectures
and do so across the African diaspora. In the new Information Age,
ten percent of Africans, or 140 million young Africans
should be in STEM fields. Science and technology
are icons of poverty alleviation. Africa must be part of
the scientific revolution. The African youth must be
at the frontier of scientific knowledge. It is my hope that my lectures
posted online and the school reports
on Philip Emeagwali will inspire the next-generation
of physicists, mathematicians, and computer scientists. [I’m An Explorer of Ideas] I’m Philip Emeagwali.
I am an explorer of unknown scientific and supercomputer worlds,
just like Christopher Columbus was an explorer of unknown lands
and oceans. In the 18th century, the interior of Africa
was unknown to Europeans, just as the interior of Europe
was unknown to Africans. On June 21, 1795, Mungo Park
arrived in present day Gambia (Africa) and arrived to begin his exploration, mapping,
and charting of the course of the unknown River Niger.
It was hoped that Mungo Park’s new map
will open the interior of Africa for colonization.
That was how British West Africa was born in a century and half
after Mungo Park’s visit to Africa. My discovery
of practical parallel processing is to the modern supercomputer
what the map of the River Niger is to ancient Africa.
The new knowledge of the River Niger is the reason
Mungo Park is the subject of school reports
in Nigeria and the reason Philip Emeagwali
is the subject of school reports in the United States. [I’m An African Supercomputer Scientist] I’m Philip Emeagwali.
Since June 20, 1974, I had been exploring the interior
of an unknown world that is the frontier
of supercomputer knowledge. I’m an African that was born
as a British protected child that was born
in the British West African colony of Nigeria
and that was born in Akure in the heart of Yoruba Land
on August 23, 1954. [Using Science to Move Africa Forward] Africa
must re-define itself through technology.
Science is a precondition for moving Africa forward.
Scientific knowledge is used to discover and recover
otherwise elusive crude oil and natural gas
that are buried a mile deep beneath the oilfields
in the Niger Delta region of the southeastern part
of my country of birth, Nigeria. Technology
is used to create industries in Africa, from South Africa to Senegal.
Africa’s grand challenge of the 21st century
will be to alleviate poverty and do so by using birth control
to reduce poverty and create wealth. If Africa realizes that
science is its primary weapon in its fight against poverty,
then its young scientists will become soldiers
in the continent’s fight against poverty. The science policy
of each of the 54 African nations should be communicated across
multiple media that includes television, newspapers, banknotes,
postage stamps, Nollywood movies, and even buses. [Why National Pride, Not Money, is the Conversation] I did not only get the credit
for my discovery of practical parallel processing
but I, in part, also received the credit as a Nigerian.
I am studied in schools in the United States
and studied as an inventor that contributed to the development
of the modern supercomputer and studied as a black inventor,
in particular. A scientific discovery
rebounds to the birthplace of its discoverer,
as well as to his or her adopted nation. Albert Einstein is claimed by Germany (his
country of birth), claimed by Switzerland
(the country he made his discovery), claimed by Israel
(his country of ancestry), and claimed by the United States
(that was his adopted country). Albert Einstein
is claimed by four nations, with each nation trying to assure
its priority in the contributions to physics
that was credited to Albert Einstein. I am studied in schools
as a Nigerian inventor, as an African inventor,
as an American inventor, and as an African-American inventor. [School Reports in Nigeria] My school market in Nigeria is huge. Back
in 2008, Nigeria had 54,434 public primary schools
that enrolled 24,422,918 students. Nigeria had
7,129 junior secondary schools that enrolled 3,266,780 students.
In 2012, 1,503,931 Nigerian students took the JAMB examination,
that is administered by the Joint Admissions
and Matriculation Board. [The Century of Supercomputers] The 17th century
was the century of calculus; the 18th century
was the century of physics; the 19th century
was the century of non-Euclidean geometry; and the 20th century
was the century of the computer. I believe that the 21st century
will be the century of the planetary-sized supercomputer
that will encircle the Earth as a super intelligent internet. [Contributions of Philip Emeagwali to the
Development of the Supercomputer] I discovered parallel processing,
both theoretically and a priori and I did so before I discovered
the technology experimentally and invented the technology across
a new internet that is a new global network of
65,536 processors that were tightly-coupled to each other
and that were identical to each other. I discovered how to massively
parallel process across a new internet and how to do so by using
the binary reflected naming code to name each of my
64 binary thousand processors that uniformly encircled my new internet
and encircled it in the manner a sphere tightly-encircled a cube.
That was how I discovered, a priori, how to reduce 64 binary thousand days, or
180 years, of computing within only one processor
to only one day of supercomputing across a new internet
that is a new global network of 64 binary thousand processors.
At 8:15 in the morning of the Fourth of July 1989,
I experimentally re-confirmed my theoretical discovery
and re-confirmed it as practical parallel processing across
a new ensemble of 64 binary thousand
tightly-coupled processors each computing at 47,303 calculations per
second. I remember that date because
it was also celebrated as the U.S. Independence Day.
I celebrate that Fourth of July 1989 as the day I became the first person
to figure out how to solve grand challenge problems
and how to solve such real world problems at the then world’s fastest speed
of 3.1 billion calculations per second. My discovery of
practical parallel processing made the news headlines because
I solved a long-standing enigma in supercomputing, namely,
I upgraded a science fiction story from a lecture that I delivered
back in November 1982 and a science fiction story
that was first published back on February 1, 1922
and I upgraded that fiction to a non-fiction that entered into
modern supercomputer textbooks and that became the vital technology
that underpins every supercomputer. My discovery
of practical parallel processing made the news headlines back in 1989
and it was later praised by then U.S. President Bill Clinton
who revisited that discovery in his televised White House speech
of August 26, 2000. President Bill Clinton
described my contribution as a formula
that enables computers to compute faster. My discovery
of practical parallel processing that President Bill Clinton spoke about
opened new fields of study, such as extreme-scale
computational mathematics, science, and engineering.
My discovery of practical parallel processing
that occurred on the Fourth of July 1989 made the news headlines because
it will become a vital technology that will underpin
the fastest computations. My invention
made the news headlines because computing a million things at once,
instead of only one thing at a time, changed our idea
of what the supercomputer will become in a decade
and what the computer of your great grand-children
will be like in a century. [Contributions of Philip Emeagwali to the
Development of the Supercomputer] My search for a new supercomputer
was a search for the parallel supercomputer
that I discovered on the Fourth of July 1989
and discovered to be a new internet that is a new global network of
two-raised-to-power sixteen processors that were married together
as one cohesive virtual supercomputer. In 1989,
I was in the news headlines because I discovered that parallel processing
is the vital technology for all supercomputers
and, possibly, for the computer of tomorrow.
I discovered that parallel processing is the vital technology
that will enable a supercomputer to use the slowest processors
in the world that are configured as a new internet
and use them to compute faster than the fastest supercomputer
in the world. In my search for that new computer
that is faster than any supercomputer, I failed more often than I succeeded.
In fact, I failed most of the time. Looking back to the 1980s,
an entire decade that I was the only full time programmer
of the most massively parallel supercomputer
ever built and a machinery that was powered by
an ensemble of 65,536 processors, I say that
the parallel supercomputer was then like heaven and hell
that were outside the realms of our existence. [Wild applause and cheering for 17 seconds] Insightful and brilliant lecture